Pest Experts and Builders Complain of Overkill

Pest Experts and Builders Complain of Overkill

Termites cause uncontested structural damage, and most municipalities have tight regulations on inspecting new homes for this destructive bug.  But builders in Minnesota are up in arms at the new proposed restrictions to prevent termite damage.

Costs for developers run to $1,000 per new home built, the pricetag for pre-treating the structure with pesticides.  Builders say it’s unnecessary and up until now the state of Minnesota has been exempt from such regulatory codes.  Housing and Urban Development (HUD) made this change when updating regulations to simplify housing codes.

Termites are a known – but occasional -- problem in the very southern part of Minnesota, but the rest of state, including the Twin Cities, has always been free of them.  Pest control agencies, who have every reason to support regulations that call for more pest control, agree.

“This is ridiculous overkill,” said Jay Bruesch, technical director for Plunkett’s Pest Control in the Twin Cities.  He reports that when out-of-staters ask for termite protection he will do the job, but feels almost guilty since he knows the bugs don’t live in the area.

“And we’re a little embarrassed by them because we’ll take someone’s money for preventing a pest that isn’t here,” he said.

Although capable of surviving Minnesota winters by burrowing below the frost line, the bugs have simply never had a presence in most of the state.

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